A State Champion among us!

My lastest blog entry is dedicated to my beautiful daughter Katherine. I am so proud of what she accompolished winning gymnastics State All Around Champion title I want to share her story.

Soaking it all in from the top of podium.

 

Last fall she made the brave decision to switch from Junior Olympic (compolsury) to Xcel (optional) level with a new coach and teammates, same gym. As she entered 8th grade the training schedule of 4 hr practices on school days was difficult to combine with the homework load of a prep school. Xcel would have her training M/F 430-730 and Sat 8-12. She had to miss out on lots of social opportunites/events this year but was very dedicated to her gymnastics.

Her competition season started in January and she qualified to compete at the state meet which was held April 5. This season she has had success and some frustration on the beam. She has placed on several events and placed anywhere from last in all around score or as high as maybe 7th.  She had not stuck a beam routine this spring. Her main goal at state was to STAY ON THE BEAM. I had been sharing quotes from my favorite book “Mind Gym” all week. I wrote her good luck card the night before emphasizing “trust your stuff”, and all your hard work, sweat, blood, tears, physical therapy, etc, has sculpted you into the gymnast you are today.

The morning of the meet she was cool as a cucumber, I was hiding my nervous energy. I had received word from another parent that judges were a bit tough. To be expected, it is the state meet after all. She warmed up on bars first, I saw her fall during a squat on jump to high bar. She was rubbing her neck a bit and looked to have some tears in her eyes. Oh yikes not the way to start the day!!!! The first few gymnasts competed on bars with scores in the mid 7′s, yikes tough scores. I was holding my breath for Katherine and finally let it out when she successfully made her jump to high bar without falling. She had a solid routine and nearly stuck the dismount, 8.85, Not her best bars score but we will take it!

See the bars routine here http://youtu.be/0HVV27COKdE

warming up on bars

warming up on bars

coaches setting the bars for Katherine, at 5"6 1/2 she needs them really high!

coaches setting the bars for Katherine, at 5″6 1/2 she needs them really high!

Next it was on to beam, there was some falling during the warm-up. Luckily Katherine usually has the attitude “well got my falls over with”. My hands were literally shaking holding the camera. Any parent of a gymnast can understand, it is nerve wracking when your daughter is competing on beam!!! I competed gymnastics for many years and was very unsuccessfull on the beam! I recall watching the last Olympics and broadcaster said “Every gymnast upon retirement should be let alone with a beam and a chainsaw”, I could not agree more.  Katherine performed one skill after another her smile getting bigger and bigger during the routine. She had a few small bobbles but stayed on the beam!!! She was jumping for joy afterwards, scoring a 9.0.

See the beam routine here http://youtu.be/0HVV27COKdE

Katherine getting last minute advice from Coach Melissa

Katherine getting last minute advice from Coach Melissa

 

I think she floated her way over to the floor routine next. She really has loved having her own choreography and music selection this year. She picked a theme song from “Catching Fire”. We recognized one of the judges on the floor, she is tough to impress. Katherine was beautiful on floor, graceful, powerful, strong and elegant. She nailed her front tuck with a big smile right in front of the judges table. It was awesome. score 9.25

See the floor routine here http://youtu.be/thKxFlC-YBs

One of her goals this season was to score 36 all around she has had 35.975. Kevin calculated she needed a 8.9 on vault. ok doable but you never know. She changed her vault about a month ago and it is working nicely for her. I was watching her teammate go and the score board was really far away and hard to read. I was having trouble with 8.000 or 8.8000. I had not seen a 9 on the scoreboard yet. Katherine had a great run and awesome vault with lots of power she took one small step. My eyes were straining to see the scoreboard, 9.0. Yippee she did it she met her goal.

Throughout the meet I was catching a few scores of other gymnasts but not too much. I figured she would place a couple events but not sure where she would be for all-around. When they were announcing vault results and calling girls to podium “in 1st place with 9.0 Katherine Camberg” (she did tie with another gymnast). She was shocked, she has never placed 1st at a meet before on anything. She stood on the podium in awe with the biggest smile. She got medals for every single event so we figured we knew she would podium for all-around. I had not really done the math at all so was thinking maybe 4th? As they were calling the names you could see her excitement building. “State Champion for All-Around Katherine Camberg”, she let out a yelp and climbed atop the podium to accept her medal beaming with pride and shock. Once the ceremony was over I was trying to work my way through the throngs of gymnasts to congratulate her, she took off to find her coach. Coach Melissa was out on the floor preparing the next group for competition. Never in her wildest dreams did Katherine think she would win state, we are so proud of her.

Katherine and her teammates all won state titles for their age group.

Katherine and her teammates all won state titles for their age group.

Some of her teammates they placed 1st in state.

Some of her teammates they placed 1st in state.

I am so proud of Katherine for all her hardwork and dedication. The lessons she has learned in gymnastics will serve her for a lifetime. Her team won 1st and had 2 girls make the State Team. The girls will head to Regional Gymnastics meet at the end of April.

Retooling my running

January I started working with a physical therapist that I have worked with in the past. Nicole has been really great about helping me identify causes to some of the issues I have had that keep coming back to haunt me. Last year was not really a banner year so I am just trying some different things to see if it helps. One big move was taking my orthotics out of my running shoes. I had originally gotten them made when I was a triathlete.  Last fall I had to refit my bike after 4 years off of it since my muscles/body has really changed. So changing my shoe/orthotic situation seemed to make sense (under supervision). Nicole felt my right foot and hip were very locked up and tight (I would agree). The first 6 weeks out of my orthotics went very smooth. I was able to work up to a few 12 mile runs, got my weekly mileage over 40 miles and even started adding speed. Throughout this process I was working with her on exercises, stretching and whatever needed to be done! I really had to place my trust in her but she talked me through it with sound advice and valid reasons. The exciting part is that it has been pain-free running. I admit the exercises are at times boring and tedious but I know if I don’t spend time everyday doing the work I might as well not run since I will most likely end up injured.

Nicole had mentioned that eventually I would switch out of a stability shoe and into a neutral running shoe. Two weeks ago I was experiencing a severe pain above my ankle bone (inner ankle area). I called her in a panic and she had some great ideas (for stretching) and we met a few days later. She also thought it was time to get the neutral shoes. I have been switching back and forth with the shoes.  I knew enough to back-off for a few days. Progress continues at a slow pace but it is the work I need to put in, like laying the foundation.

I am looking forward to some fun events coming up; Tri for the Cure and Carlsbad 5000. I will be a last-minute replacement runner on a relay team at Tri for the Cure and then next weekend I travel to San Diego to run Carlsbad 5000. I have always wanted to run this event and definitely disappointed I am not in racing shape. I will be visiting my brother and his family. My sister in-law Carren and I will be running the event together.

Little League season has begun and luckily cross country and football season ended. Josh is enjoying running when he can find time. We had a great run over spring break through the Indian Reservation winding through a resort. He is hoping to run in some races this spring if we can find time in his schedule.

Katherine is intensely preparing for her state gymnastics meet first week of April and hopes to qualify for the Regional meet. She misses running with her cross country team and has been training with a friend from the team. It is so cute to see them plan a run and head out together. She wants to run cross country and track in high school next year. Both kids actually wanted to run track this spring but there is no way they could make the practices/meets.

We have been blessed with awesome weather here in AZ, although we desperately need rain. I am worried how hot the summer will be this year. I plan to get out of town and race as much as possible. We are already planning a race on Coronado Island for 4th of July. Should be a great family event!

 

March issues of Running Times http://www.runningtimes.com/running-times and Runners World http://www.runnersworld.com/ have some great articles about weak hips and glutes. There is reference made to Jay Dicharry’s book Anatomy for Runners. I really like the book it has some good assessments and exercises.

Do you have any spring races planned?? Traveling anywhere for a race this spring/summer?

Sonoran Distance Project Check it out!

I am so excited to have the website launched for our group; Sonoran Distance Project, be sure and check it out.

http://sonorandistanceproject.com/

I finally had a break through week last week!! I received my new contact lenses and was still suffering from headaches. I decided to approach it with a last ditch effort, 2 chiropractic adjustments on my neck, deep massage focused on the migraine pain and a few days of my medication. By the end of last week I finally was free from the headaches that have been plaguing me the last few months. It felt like the dark skies lifted and the sun came out. My elbow is slowly healing with about 25% improvement over the last couple weeks.

I also had a great week of running. I was keeping with my 2 days on 1 day off and slowly building mileage. I ran pain free 38 miles and had 2 long runs of 9 miles. The 2nd of those long runs was in error as we got lost on the trail. I was prepared to walk if needed but everything felt fine.

Mom brag alert!!!! I am really proud of my 2 kids and this past weekend they really shined on the competition arena. Both kids are running cross country for their school and the championships event was held Sat. Josh has always had endless amounts of energy, Katherine does also but enjoys her quiet time and not being overscheduled. The xcountry championships fell on a day she also had a gymnastics meet. It would be possible to compete in both but would be a very long day. She decided to do both not want to let down her xcountry team since the girls were undefeated leading into the meet.

Sunday night Josh started getting a sore throat and cold, Thursday night Katherine was feeling the same way. I was using every essential oil, herb, supplement, neti pot  etc to get these kids feeling better. Saturday morning started cool and crisp with the kids feeling a bit better, ready for a long day.

Katherine and Josh before the big race.

Katherine and Josh before the big race.

Tempe Prep girls team, undefeated all season!

Tempe Prep girls team, undefeated all season!

Katherine ran her fasted 2 miles of the season finishing 12th overall. I am really proud of her, she raced her best and then cheered on her teammates. We had to skip out on the post race breakfast to get home and rest, rehydrate and get “meet hair” ready for gymnastics meet. The girls team did wonderful this year I am really proud of them .

Boys team tied for 2nd place.

Boys team tied for 2nd place.

Josh is slightly more competitive than I am (if that is possible). He had been 6th most of the season and had one 5th place finish. He was wanting to finish in 5th place and knew he had to race hard against the 8th grade boys (he is in 6th grade). I gave him advice, pep talks and encouragement. He started out nice and fast to avoid being boxed in at the narrow start, we would not see him again until about 200m from finish. When he came in sight my heart leapt, he was in 5th with 3 boys on his heels. I cheered with all my might “don’t stop til you are past the clock”. He held his position with the other 3 boys finishing 1-2 seconds behind him. He was beaming with pride and returned to the race to cheer on his teammates.

There would be no post race celebration for Josh either since he had to go straight to his flag football game. He played rusher and they won by a ton. Not sure where he found the energy to keep running more! I love that Josh avidly read his book from one sporting event to the next using the car as his locker room.  Kevin was his chauffeur that day clocking around 120 miles total to all 3 kids events.

We left home at 230 to get to the meet on time. Once I got Katherine checked in a live band was playing really really loud during the girls warm-up. Katherine was covering her ears. Then there was a little dance show so the whole thing started about an hour late. I was crossing my fingers she would not run out of steam before the end of the meet. She had a great meet, stayed on the bars (her big goal), beautiful beam routine scoring 8.8 (including a fall on the full turn). Her last event was the floor and she really nailed it. I was hoping to upload the video but seems to be giving me trouble.

Gold Medal Xcel Gold team wins 1st place and an electric guitar.

Gold Medal Xcel Gold team wins 1st place and an electric guitar.

Gold Medal Excel Gold and Platinum at Classic Rock Meet

Gold Medal Excel Gold and Platinum at Classic Rock Meet

We finally made it home about 9pm to our out of town visitors. We sat by the fire pit outside enjoying our family. I glance over at Josh and notice he is still wearing his football clothing which means he has not showered. When I inquired he said “I was not sure if I was done with sports for the day?” that generated a nice laugh to end the night.

I am looking forward to another solid week of training then some speed work. Can’t wait to start planning my race schedule.

Back to blogging!

I can’t believe my last blog post was Nov 13! I just reread it and in reference to my right glute and left hamstring “I had some panic set in about the pains hoping it was not going to develop into anything.” Yes well definitely developed and hung on like there was no end in sight. I have been battling through multiple health issues and trying to keep my head above water (or honestly not slip into a deep depression).

Quick recap of last few months then on to some fun stuff! Running has been on/off with lingering issues that can’t seem to allow me to do any speed work or run more than 30 miles per week since mid Nov. The day before Thanksgiving I woke with my left elbow on fire in pain (just to set the record straight it was my right elbow that gave me trouble all year and took 8 months to resolve).  I have been dealing with vision issues all year and received a diagnosis of keratoconus in July after my 3rd eye doctor. I had suspected this might be the case and was at least glad to get confirmation. I had over 40 eye appts last year and still had not quite got contact lenses that would work for me. To top it off around Nov I started experiencing migraines and headaches from the vision problems.  I have worked with several people and tried many different things for elbow, eyes, headaches, and hamstring/glute. It was a difficult last couple months of the year as I worked hard to get better and get as many medical issues covered by insurance before the end of the year since we had met our huge deductible.

We rang in the new year at the Midnight Madness Run. I enjoyed running easy under the stars with my daughter. We had brought noise makers and silly glasses and I joked maybe these glasses would work for me!

The first week of the 2014 I reflected on where I was at and where I needed to be both with my overall health and running. I decided to mix it up and switch to some different doctors for some of my health issues. My elbow was causing me constant daily pain and just could not take it any longer. So far a couple weeks in things are slowly making progress. I actually put my ponytail in the other morning without gritting my teeth.

My kids have continued to be busy competing on in their sports. It has been fun watching them and a great distraction. I am really proud of how hard they work in school and on the athletic platform. They are both running cross-country on their school team. In Dec the team did a local 5k Josh won handcuffs and coach awarded him with “monster runner” for the schools first team race. Katherine is only able to attend practice 1x per week due to her gymnastics schedule but has been running consistently and encouraging the girls on her team. This is the first time both kids have been on the same sports team since swimming when they were 5 &7.

Josh "monster runner"

Josh “monster runner”

warming up before first xcountry meet

warming up before first xcountry meet

Katherine had an early season gymnastics meet in Nov. She was excited to perform her new routines and compete as a Gold Excel level gymnast. She competed with grace and composure during her floor routine when her tooth came out and just kept going. After the routine she stepped off the floor and brought me the tooth for safe keeping.

Katherine holding her tooth after AZ Grand meet.

Katherine holding her tooth after AZ Grand meet.

tomorrow the kids have their championship meet for xcountry. The girls team is undefeated and the boy’s team has been placing 2 a several times. Josh has taken his competitiveness to another notch, setting and achieving goals. He wanted to run under 12 minutes (done 11:48, place in top 5, achieved). It has been fun watching them develop as runners and I love cheering on the kids and taking pictures of their team. I had to ask the kids if they thought I was too crazy cheering for them, team members said they love the encouragement. It should be a fun day tmrw.

Xcountry meet with grandma and Stan. Josh placed 5th that day.

Xcountry meet with grandma and Stan. Josh placed 5th that day.

Their coach gave the kids an opportunity to run an Xterra event. We had to leave around 630am load up the car with lots of kids and drive almost an hour. The kids had a blast! The girls swept the podium and we got 2 out of 3 boys on the podium. Josh was beaming with pride at the top of that podium. I would have loved to run the race but knew it was not in my best interest so took lots of photos!

Xcountry team at Xterra 8k trail race

Xcountry team at Xterra 8k trail race

Lauren Fleshman and the “Oiselle Little Wing” girls are in town for some winter training. It has been fun running and connecting with them. They all headed to Washington to race this weekend. Going to cheer on Betsey Flood, Christine Babcock, Lauren, Kara Foster and Mel Lawrence from home.

Trail run with Oiselle gals, Josh and his friend John were happy to hang with the fast girls.

Trail run with Oiselle gals, Josh and his friend John were happy to hang with the fast girls.

Oiselle Little Wing dinner party at our house

Oiselle Little Wing dinner party at our house

We hosted a fun Oiselle Little Wing dinner party at our house last week. The new fire pit was quite a hit. Laughs, great food and fun times were had by all.

It has been a bumpy few months but I have so many things to be grateful for and am fortunate I am a very optimistic person!! My husband Kevin has been very supportive through all the trials and tribulations. My kids always life my spirits and fill me with joy. Connecting with all the Oiselle ladies has been a blast. Monday trial runs with my friend Susan, JT, Arianna, Priscilla (and anyone else that joins us) has been great. It helps me realize I am on my way back. My coach John has continued to encourage me to keep my fitness up as much as possible and that I will be back out there racing strong soon. Our newly formed Sonoran Distance Project is really starting to take flight. I am excited to be part of this group of women as we work towards our goal of the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials. Follow us on twitter at  @SonoranDistProj One final thing is reconnecting with a friend from college, Phil and getting to know his family. During our day together him and his wife told me about a challenge they were part of and invited me to join in. Whole Life Challenge (wholelifechallenge.com) is a 60 day challenge. I agreed to it on the spot and then panicked the next day but it was been 2 weeks now and I am really enjoying it. I am partially surviving on my new favorite Garden of Life Raw Protein shakes made with cashew milk!!!

Tomorrow will be a busy day: xcountry championships, Josh football game, Katherine gymnastics meet, last-minute visit from my brother’s family. I am thankful for all the activity and richness in my life!

Phoenix 10k

I am enjoying a fall season with cooler weather and lots of races on my list. When I was planning the fall I talked to my coach about putting several races in my schedule to use as training. It breaks up that hard effort of an interval workout by myself and I get to have some fun too!! I have not raced many 10ks so had to actually look up my PR (38:52) at this same race in 2011. I did not think I was ready to run that pace but maybe if I got lucky and things were feeling good.

My husband Kevin accompanied me to the race while we let the kids sleep in for some much-needed rest (ah the joys of having them old enough to stay home). I recall this race 2yrs ago; Kevin ran 5k and we were hoping he would finish in time to watch the kids so I could start the 10k. Luckily it all worked out that year! I told Kevin not to expect too much but appreciated him coming along. He was a great at cheering and holding me and Tere’s extra shirts, keys, etc.

It was a beautiful morning and multiple races were happening, half marathon, 5k and 10k. We arrived just in time to see several of our friends finish the half marathon. Priscilla Schultz came in 2nd in 1:19 6 minutes flat, I often pass her on the canal and we have run together some. She is just to darn fast for me!! Several of the guys ran the half finishing between 1:15-1:17.  They all seemed to think they could have gone a bit faster. Hmm, us runners are always very critical of our races!

On Wednesday I had done a strength workout with lots of side lunges (all the way to the ground) and lateral work on the shifter. My adductors were sore that night and proceeded to be very sore on Thursday and Friday. Friday I knew I could not run without lots of soreness so jumped on the elliptical machine. Sat I did an easy 4 mile run and was feeling better but still sore. I don’t think I have ever had such muscle soreness post workout. I knew this might make the race Sunday interesting!

Tere and I lined up and also Tanaya had made the trip down for the race too. I was wishing I could stay with these gals but I am just not at 6:05 pace right now. I started out at 6:25 pace and was hoping to settle in under 6:20. Near the end of mile 2 my right glute starting really hurting. The kind of pain like someone was driving a nail into my right glute. I have not felt anything like this in 2yrs. I tried to focus on my form but it was just burning. I contemplated stopping  but that is not my style. I did not want to cause any further issues either. I just backed off the pace and it seemed to help. After mile 4 I was just ready to be done with this whole thing and tried to pick up pace a bit which led to a tightness in my left hamstring. Yikes hamstring pains always freak me out. I backed off on the pace and just focused on finishing.  Here are my splits:

1-624

2-635

3-631

4-639

5-658

6-702

overall time 41:56

The last couple miles really sucked!! In 2011 I was going after a last desperate chance to qualify for the Olympic Trials at CIM by running sub 2:46. I had raced at Phx 10k to see where I was at knowing I would show up at that marathon regardless. At Phx 10k I ran the whole race with extreme pain in that glute and Sunday felt like a trip down memory lane!

Post race I thought about the last couple weeks

I was really bummed about what happened since I was hoping to get a bit of a fitness indicator from the race. I had some panic set in about the pains hoping it was not going to develop into anything.

Photo: Had a fun race and got lucky enough to end up winning it as well. Best part? Seeing a lot of my friends there and being completely pain free after two months. I'm on my way back!!!

My friend Tere and I post race. Tere won the 10k!! So proud of her and glad we get to train together.

Photo: Raw vegan chocolate cheesecake with fresh berries. Recipe turned out awesome.

Just a photo of an awesome tasty dessert I made this week. Raw vegan chocolate cheesecake. I included the link to the recipe.

http://www.dandelionsonthewall.com/2013/01/raw-vegan-gluten-free-soy-free.html

Duathlon Nationals Race Recap

I have to start my race recap with some huge thanks:

Kevin-without my supportive husband I would have never got to the start line of the race, he drove Katherine to gymnastics every sat am so I could go train, he supported me going to the race despite having an event I should have attended with him the night before the race and tons of little things along the way. he loves to come watch my races but stayed behind to attend to family and work commitments. Thanks so much I love you tons!!

Coach john-he has been coaching my running for a few years now and does not have the cycling background but helped me put a schedule together for Sept and Oct that would get me ready for the race (without thinking I was crazy)

Ken Lewis- I like to refer to him as the seed planter (he planted the seed that lead to me qualifying in 2009) and again this time around. he offered tips, advice and generously gave his time to help me get my bike setup (tearing off extra weight, convincing me of things I did not need, and putting on my race wheels).

siblings and their families-they traveled from out-of-town and out-of-state to come cheer me on and be my race supporters, photographers and motivators. I am so blessed to have had them there to celebrate the day.

Post race with niece Claire and sister Kathy

Post race with niece Claire and sister Kathy

Mid August I got the crazy idea to get back on my bike and race at Duathlon Nationals since it was practically in my backyard. I had been off my bike for 4 years!  There was dust and cob webs on the bike that had to be cleaned before even riding it. I only rode 1-2 x per week while combining my running. Physically I felt in about 85% of my running fitness and only knew I could go the distance on the bike. I knew I would run my heart out and get passed on the bike by women with better, faster more sophisticated (expensive) bikes than me and then try to catch as many as I could by the finish line. Here is how it all went down!!!

Start line of Duathlon Nationals women under 50 wave.

The announcer was trying to motivate us but actually made everyone more nervous! Saying “are you ready to go anaerobic for 2+ hours?” We just ignored him and cheered in excitement. The first 5k started up hill then made a nice turn for a downhill then back up. We had another great downhill (which we would get to run back up) so I let loose trying to gain speed. I was in 6th place after my first 5k in a time of 19:56 (this is what I ran 2 wks ago in a single 5k). I flew into transition put on bike helmet, changed shoes and I was off. I took a moment at the bike mount area to carefully mount my bike and get going. It would be easy to rush and wipe out here! My family was there cheering me on and taking photos.

In transition getting ready to bike.

Easy does it getting on the bike so I don’t crash.

Bike started uphill and then had a nice climb at mile 2. After about 5 minutes on the bike here came all the girls with the “fancy tricked out bikes”. I have a nice road bike but no aero bars; essentially mine is heavier and not as aero so really makes you go slower for this kind of race. I knew this would happen so did not panic and made a game of counting the # of girls that passed me and then see how many I could pass on the run. I was passed by 26 women on the bike. All had aero bars, many had disk wheels most were tri-bikes or time trial bikes. I am not a huge bike geek but if you are you know what this means for me and my road bike! The bike was a 2 loop course. After the first loop we made a complete u-turn and headed back out. I was approaching the u-turn and could see my niece cheering for me. As I was approaching the u-turn another women with a very tricked out bike pulled off to the side and unclipped her bike shoes. I figured she was stopping or dropping out of race. No she was going to push her foot on the ground through the u-turn. I started yelling “don’t stop” since I had 2 bikes behind me and we were all about to become a huge pile up. This chick had no business riding that kind of bike without even knowing how to make a wide u-turn. I was fuming since I almost crashed. I somehow manuvered around her and hit the pedals hard firing up the hill for loop 2. My butt was really hurting now. I need to get a new bike saddle, fit or something. I was just going to have to grin and bear it, standing when I needed a break. I feel like I went about 90% effort on the bike saving just a bit for the run.

I flew into T2 racked my bike and quickly changed my shoes. I had some women to catch! I started to run and my legs were absolute jello legs. I really could not believe how dead they were. It was all mental as I waited for my legs to catch up to what was going on. I fired out of transition passing one women like a steam train.

starting 2nd and final run.

The run was the same, up hill to begin with, not so much fun with dead legs. My lungs were at full capacity gasping for air. Before mile 1 I had caught 4 women. At the u-turn I saw a great shade tree and briefly thought about laying down under it. My body was alive and racing hard, I have not felt this way in a long time! Between mile 1 and 2 there was a lot of downhill so I just fired down that hill as fast as I could looking for more people to pass. At the bottom of the hill there was a turn around and then it is up 2 hills to the finish. The last hill was brutal I passed a 23 yr old and just kept going. I ended up catching and passing 10 women total on the run!

My goal before the race was a loose sub 2 hours, I was not sure about my biking or how the course would be. I finished in 1:56:05. I really thought my 2nd run would be much faster. I really thought my bike would be much slower. I felt great the whole race. Nutrition was spot on. I drank 20 oz of Recharge with 1 scoop Carbo Pro and 1 Honey Stinger gel on 2nd loop of bike. I took in about 650 calories prerace (we did not start until 830am).

run 19:56 pace 6:24

T1 1:06

bike 1:13:10 speed 17.8 mph

T2 :49

Run 21:08  pace 6:48

My family was there at the finish and it was awesome!!!! I quickly caught my breath and raced back about 400 yards to see my friend Melissa come in and cheer her on. She was hoping to go under 2 hrs also so as the clock was 90 seconds to go I spotted her turn the corner and started screaming like mad. “Go Melissa you only have 30 seconds run as hard as you can” She made it in 1:59:43.

Enjoying the misting machine celebrating our sub 2hr finishes and that we both qualified for Team USA world team.

We celebrated with a huge Indian Buffet lunch with my family.

Part 2 of the weekend was about to begin. My friend Michelle and suggested a trip to the Biosphere 2 and staying overnight there. We rented a casitas for all of us and explored all day. There was  a special evening Halloween themed program for the families and then after everyone left we had our own private flashlight tour of Bioshpere2. It was really awesome!!!!!!!!!! We traversed through the rain forest in the dark, mud, damp and cockroach infested trails, visited the Ocean and hung out on the beach. Our tour guide Kevin made it rain in the desert.

Our crew getting ready for flashlight tour of Bioshpere2.

Our crew getting ready for flashlight tour of Bioshpere2.

Josh and Kevin were totally freaked out by the massive amounts of cockroaches crawling on ground and walls. I chose to ignore and plus since I had my glasses I could not see them in my peripheral vision. We spent a few hours walking around (up and down lots of steps) seeing the Biosphere and learning about the people who were sealed in for 2 years. You can learn more at http://b2science.org/.

Cool picture. Looking up through top of Biosphere seeing reflection of the boat in the ocean.

Cool picture. Looking up through top of Biosphere seeing reflection of the boat in the ocean.

In the library looking through the glass down several floors. Mom is hoping the glass does not break.

In the library looking through the glass down several floors. Mom is hoping the glass does not break.

We sat around the dark library talking late into the night with our tour guide. I finally had to pull the plug after 11pm or campout in here for the night. In the morning I decided to go for a short run around the grounds. How often do you get to run somewhere cool like this!!

Post run in front of Biosphere2. Showing off race tattoos that may never wash off.

Post run in front of Biosphere2. Showing off race tattoos that may never wash off.

We enjoyed a final breakfast and lecture with our tour guide Kevin. Katherine has learned that University of Arizona is a top science school in the country. Her gears are clicking away, hmm we are big Sun Devil fans but Uof A would be cheaper than Stanford!

scenic breakfast at Biosphere2

scenic breakfast at Biosphere2

It was such a fun weekend with friends and family.

I have officially qualified for Team USA World team for Duathlon to be held in Pontevedra Spain May 31. I am not sure how this aligns with my goal of qualifying for the Olympic Marathon Trials, also the trip to Spain would be pretty costly. I will keep you posted on my goals and racing plans!

Running the beaches.

My kids had fall break last week so we decided to take a trip to San Diego to visit my brother’s family in their new home. I was really looking forward to running at the beach and finding a race to run.

We arrived Tuesday afternoon and after picking up my niece headed straight to Del Mar beach. I was feeling stiff and tight from the airplane ride. My sister in-law Carren and I started doing yoga poses on the beach while we watched the kids boogie board. Before long we had several people joining in our yoga. It felt so good to stretch out and view the ocean.

Wednesday I headed down to Del Mar beach for my run. I had 8 miles with 4 at 620 pace. A big storm was moving into San Diego that day. Possible rain and wind. I headed north running towards Enicintas, the tide was too far in to run on the beach so I ran on HWY 101.  My pickup miles ended up being uphill straight into a huge headwind on the way back. I gritted my teeth and charged on, hey you never know what will happen on race day. I was around 640 pace for all of them but the effort was there. Took the kids to the Birch Aquarium since it was indoors. Then we had gluten-free crepes in downtown Del mar. Josh had never had a crepe so he got a meal and dessert crepe. We visited the cute little library and bought some books. Finally it was off to Mesa Rim Climbing gym, my niece Claire is on the rock climbing team. My kids got to climb for a few hours while she practiced.

view from Birch Aquarium

view from Birch Aquarium

Thursday Carren and I headed to her gym Pacific sports Resort http://www.pacsandiego.com/. This place is awesome. We attended 545am spin class then headed to the cafe for some free tea/coffee. Upstairs we played with TRX, foam rollers, slide boards and much more. 3 hours later we finally left. It was  a great workout and a fun day. Carren has embraced many fitness and health changes since moving to San Diego she has lost a ton of weight but more importantly looks and feels really healthy. I could not be more proud of her.

I took the kids to Torrey Pines State Beach and we had a beautiful hike along the coast. We capped it off with more boogie boarding. The waves were fast and furious from the storm we had the ocean to ourselves. I was happy to borrow my brothers wetsuit to keep warm in the ocean.

Josh found this large kelp at Torrey Pines State Beach. Dinner?

Josh found this large kelp at Torrey Pines State Beach. Dinner?

Friday I got a short run in at the beach before taking Katherine to the airport. She had to return home early for gymnastics. Josh and I were excited to stay through until Sunday. We stopped by Old Town after the airport and toured the Whaley House (America’s Most Haunted House). Friday afternoon we were running errands and driving about town when I started feeling some painful twinges in my left hamstring. Yikes I hate when that happens. dilemma we are supposed to run a 5k tmrw. Well I just decided to stretch, roll on tennis ball and see how it felt.

Carren and I at Whaley House. She is rockin' her new jeans!

Carren and I at Whaley House. She is rockin’ her new jeans!

Saturday was  a perfect morning for a 5k. Moonlight Beach Fest would be held in Encinitas just a short drive north. There was no sign of the hamstring twinge but I kept it in the back of my mind.. Josh and I lined up at the start and chatted up some other boys. We asked one young man if he had done the race before, his “reply yes no hills totally flat”. Next announcer greets us with “Welcome to the 1st annual Moonlight Beach fest”. When we started there were definitely some rolling hills. I saw a few ponytails up ahead but reminded myself to run my own race and that I am not in my fastest shape at the moment. In other words dialing back the competitive juices. There were 3 full u-turns so good to check how close I was getting to the other ladies and check on Josh (he was just a short bit behind me). I could see the gap closing between the 2nd place girl and me so decided to give it a little extra the last mile to try to catch her. The lead women was quite a ways ahead. I ran down the last hill to the finish line happy to still see 19 on the clock. My time was 1950, 2nd female and won my age group.  I was happy with that but ecstatic the hamstring was absolutely fine. Josh came in next at 2041 and the 2nd kid under 15 to finish.

We took some pictures enjoying the view while we waited for awards to start. I was dissapointed to hear the awards would only be for ages 15 and up. Josh ran a PR and was 2nd in the 12 and under. Great reminder about how we race not for awards/prizes but for fun and our own personal goals.

getting my award at Moonlight Beach Fest 5k

getting my award at Moonlight Beach Fest 5k

Josh running hard to the finish line.

Josh running hard to the finish line.

Strolling down the street we found a Whole Foods and got some lunch before heading to the San Diego Wildlife Zoo. We spent the rest of the day seeing animals at the zoo. My favorite was the Lemur exhibit that you could walk right in with the lemurs.

up close and personal with the lemurs

up close and personal with the lemurs

On our final morning I had a 12 mile run to do. I decided to start at the north edge of Del Mar by the race track and see how far north I could go and how many beaches I would pass.

Beaches: Del Mar, Solano Beach, Cardiff by the Sea, San Elijo State Beach, Encinitas, Moonlight State Beach

Almost made it to Carlsbad. I think next time I will take money and run north, grab some food and take the Coaster train back down. It was a pretty run along HWY 101 the tide was in so sand was too dry to run on.

Do you have a favorite beach to run on?? Know any great places to run in San Diego (for my next trip)?

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